sprint
Checkered

R.I.P. Chet Gardner


Chet


Chet in the Santa Maria pit line


Chet still waiting in line


Chet on a 4 wheeler


Chet with the family mule


Chet with Jimmy May


Chet working on a Gaunt car


Chet


Chet working on a tire


Chet


Chet


Chet hurrying


Chet with # 96


Chet working


Chet in the toolbox


Chet working on a tire


Chet working the jack in the Wagsdash tire change contest


Chet


Chet


Chet working on # 96


Chet working


Chet with Jeff, Jimmy and Blake


Same group


Chet smiling, always smiling


Chet with Tyler Brown


Chet with Jeff and Tyler Brown


Chet and Ronnie working at the Wagsdash


Chet in the trailer with the family


Chet with Ronnie, Brad Noffsinger adn Blake Miller


Chet with grandpa Jack, Blake and Jimmy


Chet in Wags Mule


Chet with Blake and Logan Williams


Chet with Jimmy


Chet on # 96


Chet with Krista and Mallory and a small shiny tire award


Chet with Charlie Zabinski


Chet in the Perris grandstands


Chet with Jimmy and Ronnie


Chet and Jack Sr


Chet with Uncle Howard, Jack Sr and Ronnie


Chet with Jack

Life really isn’t all peaches and cream and we all cling to the sad news as it sweeps over us. Knowing Chet Gardner since he was a small boy sitting in the grandstands near us, it is a shock that he lost his life as the rest of us celebrated Xmas. This young man was more than just that, he was an integral part of the west coast racing scene. Coming from the infamous Gardner clan, Chet has been very involved on all of the Gardner wins of the past during his short life. His quiet and peaceful attitude has been there from day one of his 24 years with us as he worked on many Gardner Sleds and loved what he was doing.

Never did he complain, only worked hard to make it happen, time after time. He smiled thru race after race, time and time again as he visited with everyone and spread his little smile amongst us. He was low key, and in addition to that never drew attention to himself, but was proud of the Gardner lore and you could see the self-satisfaction he held inside.

I remember when he and Cousin Ronnie would be in the grandstands very quietly watching the action and exploding when the current Gardner car did well. He wasn’t one to wander around much and as he grew up, he was even more focused until the day he could enter the pits. From that point on, he was a crewman who was busy and content with his duties all the time. He was a proud winner of the Wagtimes Shiny Tire Award on many occasions. He told me he wasn’t interested in driving a sprint car, but wanted to make it work better. He rarely walked by without stopping to regale his latest race story or even talk about himself and his cousin’s mischief.

I no longer ask why in these times of loss, I merely am certain that he has moved on to the next phase of our worldly being. May the Gardner Clan rejoice in his life and remember the special things about him we all can recall, he was very special and may he rest in peace. The racing world will not forget him and nor will I.

Updated 9/8/17